Starting this year, Sausalito Marin City School District will be the first in the nation to serve 100 percent organic, non-GMO school lunches. The school district is partnering with The Conscious Kitchen—a non-profit dedicated to providing kids with healthier eats—to implement a food program built on the foundation of fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO (FLOSN) food, according to EcoWatch.
The school district is made up of Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, a public school with 156 kindergarten through eighth grade students, and Willow Creek Academy, a public charter school with 350 kindergarten through eighth grade students.
“Most people don’t realize that GMOs are everywhere, especially in processed foods,” says Justin Everett, executive chef at Cavallo Point Lodge, who serves as the consulting chef for The Conscious Kitchen, as reported by EcoWatch. “By embracing fresh, local, organic, non-GMO food, this program successfully disrupts the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, heat and serve meals that dominate school kitchens.”
The upgraded school lunches will be accompanied by a curriculum that teaches students about where their food comes from and why it's good for them.
"The Conscious Kitchen is a big step in the right direction, demonstrating what can be done with intention,” Shaun Dayton, executive chef at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy said in a statement. “If you cook good food, grown with the best standards (FLOSN), and work with your local farmers, you care for the children, communities and our planet. I love my job!"
Sausalito-based non-profit Turning Green launched the pilot program at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in 2013, in partnership with Chef Everett, Whole Foods Market and Good Earth Natural Foods. According to The Conscious Kitchen, better school lunches have shown positive results—most notably, a 67 percent decrease in disciplinary cases.
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School lunches image via Shuttershock